Habeas Corpus Blog

BLS Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Law Jonathan M. Kirschbaum began the Habeas Corpus Blog in April of 2009. Prof. Kirshchbaum is also a senior appellate counsel at the Center for Appellate Litigation (“CAL”), a private, non-profit organization that represents indigent criminal defendants in their appeals after conviction in state court in Bronx and New York Counties. Of interest to researchers practicing criminal law, the blog has a number of useful features including Habeas Corpus FAQs, a list of goals that the blog hopes to achieve and a list of Habeas Corpus Abbreviations.

One recent entry at the Habeas Corpus Blog reports that the US Court Of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a Summary Order affirming a district court’s grant of habeas in the case of Espinal v. Bennett, 09-0398-pr, on August 18, 2009. The issues raised in the habeas application were Ineffective Assistance of Counsel based on counsel’s failure to investigate a police report which corroborated petitioner’s claim that he was not at the scene of the crime. The court ruled that the error prejudiced the petitioner since it prevented counsel from discovering a potential alibi witness, whose testimony would have probably changed the outcome of the trial. The district court opinion in Espinal v. Bennett was written by Judge David G. Trager (former Dean at Brooklyn Law School from 1983-1993) and is available at 588 F.Supp.2d 388 (EDNY 2008). It was also reported in the NY Law Journal as a Decision of Interest.

One additional Brooklyn Law School connection in this case is that BLS Professor of Law William E. Hellerstein was Counsel on the case for petitioner before the Second Circuit.